Yes, Virginia, soon the 2012 London Olympics will end, and the games of life as we know it will continue. So here are five things I love right now that may help fill up all of our lives in between the Closing Ceremonies and the raging amusement parks of the Republican and Democratic Conventions.
Despite the fact that they pay for much of my lifestyle, I'm not the biggest fan of commercials. But this unique Coca Cola spot created by Young and Rubicam, and released out of Argentina originally, has gone viral for a reason. It's moving. It's smart. It's funny. It's powerful. These are all words that I wouldn't use to describe most of the full-length feature films I've seen this summer. Yet with the help of Roger Hodgson's timeless anthem "Give A Little Bit," "Security Cameras" -- in just over a minute -- manages to say some powerful things about our world. Check it out here -- and add to the nearly 6 million views of something worth seeing.
Celeste and Jesse Forever
I have been a Rashida Jones fan forever. In fact, I met her briefly when she was a young student at Harvard first getting interested in writing. Well, now Jones and her talented pal and co-star here Will McCormack have written one of the best movies of 2012, a left-field charmer that effectively reimagines the romantic comedy genre into something infinitely more interesting and real. Celeste and Jessie Forever is full of great performances from Jones, McCormack, Emma Roberts and a particularly revelatory turn from Andy Samberg. Beautifully directed by Lee Toland Krieger, and featuring one of the summer's best soundtracks, Celeste and Jessie Forever is this summer's indie gold medal effort.
"Reboot The Mission" - The Wallflowers featuring Mick Jones
I have always loved The Wallflowers, and admired the grace with which Jakob Dylan has handled himself and made his own name in the family business. Many years ago, I remember talking to Jakob about his love for The Clash, and for The Wallflowers first single in years, he and the band have delivered a record that not just shows their respect for the punk icons and features Mick Jones himself - they've created a song that restarts their own recording career with a song that is so catchy, cool and, yes, funky that it totally rocks my casbah. Check it out -- and look for The Wallflowers new album Glad All Over coming in October.
The Queen of Versailles
The Queen of Versailles is one of the funniest, scariest and most revealing documentaries that I have ever about the lighter and darker sides of the American Dream. Directed by Lauren Greenfield, it simply has to be seen to be believed. Mark this film down as one of the more positive results of our economic downturn.
Let's Go Out Tonight - Curtis Stigers
Like a lot of people, I first heard Curtis Stigers when his version of Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" appeared on the massive soundtrack for The Bodyguard. What a revelation to be reminded that Stigers has gone on to become one of the finest and most interesting jazz singers working today since first making a dramatic and effective turn with Baby Plays Around in 2001. Instead of abandoning his rock and soul roots, he finds a genre-bending way to bring the music he loves to jazz on Let's Go Out Tonight -- which is tastefully produced by Larry Klein. Don't trust me -- go out tonight and check out Stigers' distinctive takes on songs written by Bob Dylan ("Things Have Changed"), Jeff Tweedy ("You Are Not Alone") and Neil Finn ("Into Temptation"). A jazzy gem.